Who doesn’t use credit cards? At least debit cards or ATM cards as some would call it. Thanks to these little pieces of plastic, you can now buy goods and pay with your phone, through digital wallets to be specific. Soon there’ll be a day where the majority of Sri Lankans stop using bills and coins.
Enter Interblocks which has been in the game of electronic payment processing as a technology and service provider from early 2000s. On the other hand, West International is a Swedish manufacturer of transaction and payment solutions. Quite recently both of them held an event announcing that they would be joining forces and becoming partners.
The event took off with a welcoming note by Mr. Dinesh Rodrigo, CEO, Interblocks Ltd. and then he handed over the stage to the CEO of West International, Mr. Sten Karlsson.
We both work with speed and agility. We aren’t afraid of innovation – Sten Karlsson.
Sten’s presentation started off with him speaking about Sweden; their climate, nature and most importantly the industries. “No you wouldn’t find polar bears or poisonous snakes and we do not produce watches, that’s Switzerland.” Common misconceptions. West International cater over three service areas; card terminals, self-service systems and POS & retail systems. They brand it as “One terminal for all.” Which means regardless of which bank or what type of card you have, their PCI certified solutions provide you with a single infrastructure to deal with them all.
The devices use XML based API APOS, which is a simple web based architecture. All terminals comes NFC ready which makes it compatible with all contactless payment services such as Apple pay, Google pay or Samsung pay.
When inquired about the target market at the Q&A, the duo said it’s for all merchants or agents regardless of their size. Their plan is to roll out the devices along with the banks. They are also targeting merchants in rather rural areas, empowering and motivating them to move forward with the new technology. They are hoping to follow the train the trainer model to spread the knowledge and expertise to use such devices. Will they be the ones to bring Sri Lanka into a cashless age? If they can indeed empower rural traders, then it’s only a question of time.